What is an SSL certificate?

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

Learn what an SSL certificate is and how it increases visitor confidence in your website. It can even help with your website’s rankings on Google!

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Security is a big deal to everyone doing business on the web. Learn how to keep your customers and your business safe with an SSL certificate.

Have you ever noticed that some web addresses begin with “http” and others start with “https?” The difference is that “https” means the site has SSL security.

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It’s the technology that keeps sensitive information, like credit cards, social security numbers, user names, and passwords out of the hands of cyber crooks. How? By encrypting - or scrambling - data while it passes between websites and web servers, keeping it from being intercepted.

Once it reaches the intended recipient it is un-encrypted.

Thinking you don’t need SSL because you don’t sell stuff online? Think again. Your SSL certificate tells visitors you are the legitimate and verified owner of your site. Showing that you’re serious about security is a great way to earn trust.

To add SSL to your website, you simply install an SSL certificate. When your site has SSL, a padlock icon as well as “https” appears in your customers’ browser bar to show that information they send to, or receive from, your site is safe from hackers.

You can also add an SSL site seal to your pages, to make it even more obvious to visitors that you’ve got their back.

And, bonus! An SSL certificate can boost your rankings in search results. Google and other search engines reward secure websites to encourage all website owners to get on board.